Forest school has been a great success and our children’s favourite!
Why Forest School?
Forest School is an inspirational approach to learning through hands-on outdoor experiences in a woodland or any other natural environment with trees (mostly). Forest School approach started officially in Scandinavia, but the ethos behind it pre-exists in lots of theories around outdoor play and children’s development and learning. It mainly consists of child-led and fun activities. It allows children space and time to learn by exploring, developing their imagination, connecting with nature and taking risks.
Forest School Ethos
In this approach, the adult/teacher ‘sits back’ and operates mainly as an observer and facilitator. Forest School teachers support children to develop confidence, resilience, independence, responsibility extending innate characteristics of childhood such as joy, imagination, curiosity. For a successful FS, it is important that there is trust and respect between children, adults and the environment.
Forest School and EYFS
Who said that playing outdoors is not enough to extend a child’s learning and support its development?
Communication and Language: Develop conversational skills in a practical context; encourages social talks such as negotiation and planning; develop specific vocabulary to the natural world.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Children gain confidence by trying new activities and gaining new skills, including “high risk” activities such as using real tools and cooking on fire; opportunities for team work and problem solving.
Physical Development: Develop gross motor skills – running, climbing, lifting, rolling using ropes, levers, pulley; develop fine motor skills – tool use, knot tying, craft activities; support managing hygiene – hand washing; learning to dress/ undress into wet weather gear.
Literacy: Using books to research animals and trees, writing and mark making using sticks.
Mathematics: Opportunities for counting and calculating various materials and resources; opportunities for problem solving such as measuring items or natural elements.
Understanding the World: Encourages exploration using all senses, questioning and investigations; develops understanding of seasons and weather; encourages opportunities for construction using real tools and equipment.
Expressive Arts and Design: Opportunities to explore colours and textures in nature, children are free to create using different natural media and resources.